Month: December 2018

Astonished and Amazed

I have gotten in trouble for a sermon once.  When I say ‘in trouble’, I don’t mean that someone had a question or wanted to have a conversation about something that they disagreed with.  When I say ‘in trouble’, I mean that I was pulled aside after the service and given a lecture about how

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The Christmas Story

God loved the world like this: In the days when Israel was ruled by Rome, God sent an angel to a young woman named Mary, who was engaged to a man named Joseph, and that angel said, You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everybody! I know that things have been a little slow around the blog lately. Part of that is just the busy-ness of my first Advent season as a pastor. Part of that is that I’ve been focused on other extracurricular projects lately. And, while my New Year’s resolutions are almost always doomed to

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Love

Right after I graduated from seminary, a lot of my friends began their first calls at their first churches. And that meant that, for the first time, they had to preach… every week. And if you’ve never had to preach a sermon every week, then you might not know that preparing a sermon is a

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Bloomberg: Verdict Is In: Food Stamps Put Poor Kids on Path to Success

One of the things that compelled me to write Radical Charity is that I kept seeing two narratives about charity. On the one hand, there were the charity skeptics, arguing that charity and welfare hurt their recipients. These skeptics argue that doing for others what they could (or should) do for themselves erodes work ethics, fosters

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The Big Peace

Today is the second Sunday of Advent. And today, we hear a part of a story that we don’t hear very often. There was this priest, Zechariah, and his wife, Elizabeth. They were righteous before the Lord. And, like so many people in the Bible, they were old and they were childless. And, one day,

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World-Ending Hope

It is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a strange season. On the one hand, we’re looking forward to Christmas. In the church, we decorate the building, we make cookies for people who can’t be with us regularly, we prepare for the children’s Christmas program, we sing a handful of carols, and we give

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